SAFE: An EEG dataset for stable affective feature selection

Zirui Lan, Yisi Liu*, Olga Sourina, Lipo Wang, Reinhold Scherer, Gernot Müller-Putz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An affective brain-computer interface (aBCI) is a direct communication pathway between human brain and computer, via which the computer tries to recognize the affective states of its user and respond accordingly. As aBCI introduces personal affective factors into human-computer interaction, it could potentially enrich the user's experience during the interaction. Successful emotion recognition plays a key role in such a system. The state-of-the-art aBCIs leverage machine learning techniques which consist in acquiring affective electroencephalogram (EEG) signals from the user and calibrating the classifier to the affective patterns of the user. Many studies have reported satisfactory recognition accuracy using this paradigm. However, affective neural patterns are volatile over time even for the same subject. The recognition accuracy cannot be maintained if the usage of aBCI prolongs without recalibration. Existing studies have overlooked the performance evaluation of aBCI during long-term use. In this paper, we propose SAFE—an EEG dataset for stable affective feature selection. The dataset includes multiple recording sessions spanning across several days for each subject. Multiple sessions across different days were recorded so that the long-term recognition performance of aBCI can be evaluated. Based on this dataset, we demonstrate that the recognition accuracy of aBCIs deteriorates when re-calibration is ruled out during long-term usage. Then, we propose a stable feature selection method to choose the most stable affective features, for mitigating the accuracy deterioration to a lesser extent and maximizing the aBCI performance in the long run. We invite other researchers to test the performance of their aBCI algorithms on this dataset, and especially to evaluate the long-term performance of their methods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101047
Number of pages11
JournalAdvanced Engineering Informatics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Affective features
  • EEG dataset
  • Emotion recognition
  • Long-term aBCI performance
  • Stable feature selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

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